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Carnival Breeze Atrium

Carnival Breeze
A Fresh Breeze in the Caribbean

by Linda Coffman

December 2012: Pierside in Miami, Carnival Breeze may look just like another Carnival Cruise Lines ship, but that appearance is deceiving. The third and final Dream-class ship is substantially different than her earlier fleetmates and even other Dream-class sister-ships for that matter. She may not appear larger, although at 130,000 tons the Carnival Breeze is the third of the the largest "Fun Ships" constructed by Carnival Cruise Lines to date. However, while there is no doubt that she is Carnival ship, Carnival Breeze is truly an evolution in design and function. While her decor is toned down considerably, within her Caribbean inspired interiors you'll still find all the fun you expect and more.

The new 3,690-passenger Dream-class ship offers stunning features—such as the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub with its own private label house brand Thirsty Frog Red draught beer and pub food; a massive water park with a twister waterslide, a funnel-style slide, aqua play splash park, and drencher-type "bucket"; SportsSquare outdoor recreation area with mini-golf, a basketball/volleyball/soccer multipurpose court, an outdoor fitness center, ropes course, and even a hot dog stand; and Cucina del Capitano Italian specialty restaurant. And there's even more, as the ship incorporates "Fun Ship 2.0" elements, including Guy's Burger Joint, the Blue Iguana Cantina, the Library Bar, and poolside barsthe Red Frog Rum Bar and Blue Iguana Tequila Bar. Dining and entertainment highlights include Bonsai Sushi, the line's first full-service sushi restaurant (charge applies), Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ, the brand-new Punchliner Comedy Brunch, the Thrill Theater, a four dimensional interactive movie experience (charge applies), Hasbro, The Game Show, and new musical revues from Playlist Productions.

Dining
Carnival Breeze's array of traditional and alternative dining choices are the most expansive you'll find in the fleet.

The Sapphire Restaurant and Blush Restaurant are the formal dining rooms where diners are assigned either early or late seating or the more flexible Your Time Dining, an open-seating option. Start your dinner with a selection of appetizers, soups, and salads, and move on to a variety of entrees. In addition to the always popular lobster, served once each cruise, Carnival's decadent Chocolate Melting Cake is available every night. Don't be in too much of a hurry to leave the dining room or you'll miss the inventive and talented wait staff performing musical numbers just as energetically as they served your meal. The dining room is also where The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez serves up laughs during short comedy presentations on sea days along with with playful interpretations of traditional brunch offerings and some selections inspired by Lopez's Mexican heritage.

For a romantic dinner or special occasion, Fahrenheit 555, Carnival Breeze's steakhouse features a full service bar for before or after dinner cocktails and, for the $35 per person cover charge, it's one of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea. Not only is the food exceptional (escargot, New England crab cakes, lobster bisque, grilled lamp chops, prime rib, free range chicken, veal chops, lobster, and several cuts of beef from 9 to 18 ounces), but the presentation is sophisticated and the atmosphere decidedly upscale. It's a fine dining experience you won't want to miss.

Introduced on Carnival Magic, Cucina del Capitano, which celebrates Carnival's tradition of Italian captains by sharing some of their favorite dishes, also makes an appearance on Carnival Breeze. Served in relaxed family-style surroundings, the menu includes pastas, risotto, and Italian specialties. The setting is enhanced by framed photographs of Carnival’s ships, its captains, and their families that adorn the walls. Lunch is complimentary and dinner is $12 per person ($5 for children under age 11).

Carnival’s first full-service sushi restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, serves such popular Asian-inspired delicacies as sushi, sashimi, rolls and chef specials in a contemporary Far East atmosphere. Menu items are individually priced from $1 to $6 and include Japanese beers and sake.

 

Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ

BlueIguana Cantina

In the casual buffet-style Lido Marketplace Restaurant, the variety of informal dining choices starts at breakfast with made-to-order omelets and continues with a wide variety of buffet items for lunch and dinner, as well as meat-carving and pasta stations, Indian tandoor selections, and a Mongolian stir-fry wok. In addition to the usual selections, there are a daily taste-of-nations specialty, a Pizza bar, and the Deli for just-made sandwiches. Several serving stations dispense ice cream treats. Try the complimentary sushi in the Lido Marketplace for freshly prepared sushi before dinner.

Also serving poolside are Guy’s Burger Joint that offers up freshly made burgers, fries, and innovative toppings created in partnership with Food Network celebrity Guy Fieri and BlueIguana Cantina, where authentic tacos and burritos are made to your specifications and can be further personalized at the extensive salsa and toppings bar.

On Deck 5, the Plaza Cafe patisserie serves specialty coffees, teas, and pastry treats for a nominal charge and offers complimentary snacks throughout the day and evening at the adjacent Taste Bar. RedFrog Pub serves Caribbean favorites, such as Bahamian conch salad, grouper fingers, and firecracker Jamaican chicken wings for a $3.33 charge per item. For a quick burger and trimmings on sea days, head to the Lanai on Deck 5 where you'll find Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ waiting at lunchtime on sea days.

For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Camp Carnival program and group evening babysitting takes the hassle out of child care. In addition to the many choices, Carnival Breeze offers the flexibility of dining whenever you are hungry—around the clock. Room service never closes and, while the choices are somewhat limited, a picnic on your private balcony is always a treat.

Accommodations
With so many categories from which to choose on Carnival Breeze, stateroom selection might seem daunting. In reality, there are only five main accommodations types with a few differing configurations within them. They range from standard Interior and Ocean View staterooms to Ocean View staterooms with private balconies and Suites and Penthouse Suites with large private balconies. More than 60% of all staterooms are outside and, of those, over 80% have balconies. Within the balcony categories are Premium Vista Balcony staterooms that are aft-facing and have an extended balcony and Cove Balcony staterooms that are close to the water level. A step up from standard outside cabins and ideal for families are Deluxe Ocean View staterooms that feature a full bathroom with shower and separate washroom with sink and junior tub.

Carnival Breeze features 85 exclusive "spa" staterroms and suites with unlimited access to the Cloud 9 Spa facilities via private elevator and special amenities, including the use of special "Cloud 9 Spa" logo items, personal fitness bands and yoga mats, complimentary fitness classes, and priority reservations for spa treatments and services.

 

Ocean View Stateroom 6424 with Balcony

Carnival Cruise Lines has always prided themselves on spacious cabins and Carnival Breeze’s are no exception. The staterooms are actually very similar in layout to earlier vessels; however, the décor is all new with soothing tropical inspired colors and art.

Unlike the recent trend for cabins with few drawers, Carnival Breeze’s standard balcony cabins have a trio of nice deep ones built into the vanity/desk, where you’ll also find a mini-bar-fridge, a personal safe, more storage behind cabinet doors, and open book shelves. There are two huge drawers in the base of the sitting area sofa and even some additional small storage cubbies in the two nightstands. The television is a flat screen mounted within the cabinetry that swivels for comfortable viewing from the bed or sofa.

Staterooms feature mirrored accents, a hairdryer in a vanity/desk drawer, and terrycloth bathrobes are provided for use during the cruise in all ocean view accommodations. The outstanding lighting that encircles the living area even extends to the front of the closets, which can be dark holes on some ships.

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a lumpy, bumpy bed with scratchy sheets and pancake thin pillow. To insure sweet dreams, Carnival provides more than a chocolate treat on your pillow. The exclusive "Carnival Comfort Bed" systems start with plush mattresses and add soft and comfy duvets, upgraded pillows, and linens for a good night's sleep. 

Bathroom amenities include shampoo and bath gel in shower mounted dispensers and an array of sample toiletries. The shower itself is roomy and has a pull-out clothesline for drying bathing suits or hand laundry. A real convenience is the two-sided (regular and magnifying) bathroom shaving/make up mirror. Closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves at both sides of the large mirror, are more than adequate.

Family-friendly accommodations include interconnecting staterooms (like the one pictured above); many, including suites, can accommodate up to three or four. Passengers with physical challenges haven't been overlooked—staterooms have been designed that take their special needs into consideration.

Continue to explore Public Spaces & More --> Carnival Breeze (Part 2)

Cruise Diva's Blog Highlights from the Carnival Breeze inaugural season from Miami:

A Fresh Breeze in Miami
A Breeze-y Home Away From Home
Only On “C” Days
Fun & Games Aboard Carnival Breeze
Carnival Breeze Dining Afloat
Carnival Breeze, So Entertaining
Carnival Breeze: The Caribbean Vibe
Carnival Cruise Lines' Platinum Perks

Images © Cruise.Diva.com and courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines


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